Isn’t it amazing what a little DIY can do for a room? We love the home we currently live in and we knew from the beginning it would have its little projects here and there. It was built in the early 80’s so there are some major upgrades already done by the previous owners, but there are also some areas that definitely need a little more love. We are project people, so if there is a DIY opportunity to take on- I’m your girl. I’ve always been pretty crafty and the thought of this next project really had me excited!
I have been fascinated with the idea of stenciling our tile flooring for a while now; especially, in our guest bathroom. The floors were originally a yellowy dated tile that were screaming for help. Every time I walked in there to bathe Fisher I cringed and imagined what I could do on a budget that would ultimately give the space a whole new look without breaking the bank. I didn’t particularly like the idea of having a guest bathroom suck up some of our project funds where it could be used for bigger makeovers elsewhere (like the staircase later). So, I thought I would give stenciling a shot!
Here are a few materials I found useful for this DIY:
Clorox Disinfectant Wipes
Chalk Paint decorative paint by Annie Sloan
Small Sponge Roller
Knee Pads (believe me.. you want these)
I purchased my stencil from Royal Design Studio Stencils (www.royaldesignstudio.com). They have so many amazing patterns and sizes! I finally decided on the ‘Toledo’ stencil. It was a perfect fit for the look I was going for. Royal Design Studio Stencils’ website is loaded with ‘how-to’ information and inspiration for first time stencilers, so I had plenty of resources to guide me during the process.
The next important step was to decide what paint I was going to use. Fortunately, I’m pretty well versed in Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan. This is my favorite brand because the quality is fantastic and there are plenty of colors to choose from. For this project I wanted to have a lighter background to hold up a darker stenciled pattern. For my first layer of color against the dated tile I used 2 coats of Chalk Paint in ‘Old White’ by Annie Sloan. The Chalk Paint dries incredibly quickly and being as it is a small bathroom it didn’t take long to get 2 coats down.
The fun part was next! The stencil fit perfectly. There are so many different styles and sizes for any project at Royal Design Studio Stencils, so take a look around and choose the one that’s right for you. I tested one tile in the corner to get a feel for the process. Again, there are plenty of instructions and best practices on their site as well. I used Chalk Paint in ‘Paris Gray’ by Annie Sloan. It is literally the PERFECT gray. I used the appropriate stencil brush for paint application (which can be found on the Royal Design Studio site) and moved my paint around in circular motions over the stencil. You don’t need much paint because if you’ve got too much and the stencil isn’t completely flat some of the paint can come up under the stencil and the pattern will look a little smudgy. Take your time and if you need to place some pieces of painters tape on the edges of the stencil to keep it in place on each new tile go for it. I had to for certain sections and it really helped!
As you go along, you’ll notice that the stencil will inevitably get some paint underneath. So, I took my Clorox Disinfecting Wipes and after each painting application I took the wipe and cleaned the paint off the side of the stencil that would go directly onto the next new tile (the cleaner side). Use an empty painting pan to put the wet side of the stencil down into as you clean the other side. I then took an old towel and dabbed it dry. The stencil was then ready for the next paint job! This was pretty time consuming, but truly helped keep it all look very clean and professional. The Clorox wipes were also great for the occasional drip or scuff of gray paint where it shouldn’t have been. Just a gentle wipe took it right off the white painted tiles.
Some areas of the bathroom were pretty tricky, but I was able to allow the stencil to move and bend where it wanted to like on the tiles that curved around the toilet. It ended up turning out fantastic! I made sure and lined up each newly painted pattern the best I could as I painted more and more tiles. There are some imperfections in my work, but honestly, that’s what makes it look so unique and truly like hand painted tile (and it’s really only in certain tight spots). I took a small paint brush in the areas I couldn’t complete the design and finished the stencil pattern into the edges and trim so that everything looked even and completed.
Once you’re finally finished stenciling it’s time to seal the floor! There are lots of sealants out there, but I would think about where you’re stenciling to decide on which formula will work best. I am obviously in a bathroom which will be exposed to lots of water from the kids’ bath time and other bodily fluids surrounding the toilet ( I have two boys), so I knew I needed something waterproof. You can find everything you need at Lowe’s and I used a Polyurethane with a matte finish for this project. Apply with a small sponge roller for the best coverage. Follow the instructions carefully and just make sure you allow ventilation as these can be very smelly!
That is really all it takes! It didn’t take me long at all to finish this DIY. Granted, I know it isn’t the biggest bathroom in the world, but if I can do it, so can you! If you’re feeling hesitation with a project like this one… you just have to go for it! I was fed up with my tile enough to take the plunge and take a chance. It ended up turning out so much prettier than I dreamed it was going to! I am so so thrilled with the end result! For questions about all things stencil, application, and more, visit www.royaldesignstudio.com. They are the best resource! For questions related to Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan visit www.anniesloan.com. This is my ultimate favorite brand for all my DIY projects.
If you’re about to do some fun and crafty DIYs send me some pictures! I’d love to share with everyone on the blog!